We “All” Live in an Ancient Indian Archaeological Zone

-Erosion at Santa Lucea Beach, Martin County , FL  11-11-22, JTLJust a few days ago, Hurricane Nicole whipped up the Atlantic Ocean and unearthed an ancient Ais Indian burial site at Chastain Beach on Hutchinson Island, near Bathtub Beach and Sailfish Point. Once again, we are reminded of history and those who lived here before us. I would hope, in time, these remains will be sacredly reinterred.

11-12-22 TCPalm article “Hutchinson Island Burial Site May Have Exposed Bones”

It is important to note that the local native people of Florida did not just live on Hutchinson Island, they utilized our entire coastal area of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. In fact, almost our entire coastal region is designated an “Archaeological Zone.”

-Below: map insert section of Martin County, Florida coast. “An Archaeological Survey of Martin County, Florida, 1995.” The shaded areas denote archaeological zones – areas the native people especially lived in and utilized. This includes Hutchinson Island, Sewall’s Point, parts of Rio, Jensen, Stuart, Palm City,  Rocky Point, and Hobe Sound among others. This report was not just to map these areas but also to alert developers. What does this mean? It means that in 1995 the famous archaeologist, Robert Carr, and his team determined such, and this is documented in their publication written for Martin County Government. Ironically, I had just asked my mother for a copy for our study of Palm City so when the unearthing occurred I took note.

The publication  provides the following designating these Archaeological Zones.

I am reminded to share an old blog post of mine about the Indian Mound, still visible,  in Ft Pierce. Tuckahoe, in Jensen, is also an ancient Indian mound. Most of course were disrespectfully carted away to construct roads.

“The Ais were a tribe of Native Americans who inhabited the Atlantic Coast of Florida. They ranged from present day Cape Canaveral to the St. Lucie Inlet, in the present day counties of Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and northernmost Martin. They lived in villages and towns along the shores of the great lagoon called Rio de Ais by the Spanish, and now called the Indian River.” -House of Refuge exhibit

Not just after a hurricane, but every day, we should remember those who were here before us and how they lived- in tune and respecting Nature. The best place to learn about the Ais people is at the House of Refuge on Hutchinson Island near to where the recent artifacts and bones were unearthed.

By the way, where do you live?

Video “Shadows & Reflections, Florida’s Lost People, features archaeologist Robert Carr and gives an idea of many of Florida’s native peoples.


13 thoughts on “We “All” Live in an Ancient Indian Archaeological Zone

  1. Thank you for sharing this Jacqui. Mother Nature takes away and always gives back, in some ways we could never expect. Another gifted lesson of who the ancestors are in these lands and again brings us closer to living in harmony with nature….and remembering those before us who lived and loved the land as we do.

  2. Jacqui…thanks for featuring this very important part of our history. We are surrounded, as you say, by these archeological sites of the Ais. I live in Rocky Point and we still have a mound, but beyond that I’m sure there are many more artifacts hidden from our reach. Throughout Florida the story is the same….
    We (Southeast Florida Archeological Society) have just restarted our lecture series. On the 19th we will feature Steven Koski, archeologist at Warm Mineral Springs & Little Salt Spring. Lecture is at the Hobe Sound Library at 10:30 am.

    1. Dear Jim thank you so much for this message. I really appreciate it – you all are the source. I would like to get more involved with SEFAS. I will do all I can to make it to the upcoming lecture and more in the future.

    1. I am not aware that they “moved” it but yes there was a natural inlet at Peck’s Lake that was closed by the ACOE after a storm. The St Lucie would open and close over 100/1000s of years but was “permanently” opened by hand and shovel in 1892 led by Capt. Henry Sewall. I have a blog somewhere about this. So interesting!

  3. I’m sure their spirits are crying to see what’s happening to Florida..dirty water, scarce fish and wildlife disappearing..

    1. No calcium means no life—fortunatly some of the historic coquina roadbed that was removed from the lagoon is low enough for high water to desolve it. I look for a BIG comeback of life for the next 2 years.

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